I just hit send and emailed the manuscript for my fourth book to my editor. It’s 134,200 words long which is roughly the same size as Winterwood.
Silverwolf is scheduled for publication on Tuesday 3rd January 2017. It’s been through one editorial review (a content edit), but if my editor requires any fine-tuning I’m always happy to look at anything she might want me to change.
If this version is okay for her, the next step will be copy-editing. The copy editor changes my British English into American English, corrects punctuation, grammar and typos, and smooths out any clunkiness. I’ll be the first to admit that my British use of commas (or lack thereof) requires an American copy editor’s expert eye.
It’s also the copy editor’s job to make sure I haven’t used any anachronisms. I was very impressed with the copy editor of Winterwood, who even went as far as checking historical maps to make sure that I was using street names current in London in 1800. (I was, but it’s comforting to know my copy editor agreed.)
I know that some authors struggle against copy editors who rephrase things extensively. I’ve been lucky that copy edits (so far) have been relatively light, though if I’ve used a British word that doesn’t work for the American market there may be changes. I can understand why Americans might not get the word ‘trug’ (look it up), but I was really surprised to have the word ‘tannoy’ challenged in one of my psi-tech books. I do get to check and argue against changes if I feel very strongly, but mostly I appreciate the changes. I did, however, manage to revert my copy editor’s three ‘gottens’ in Winterwood back into something I could live with. (I appreciate the word is perfectly legitimate in US English, but not in the ‘voice’ of my English narrator.)
So while I wait for further comments from my editor, I’m going back to writing the first draft of Nimbus, my upcoming fifth novel – third in the Psi-Tech trilogy. I’ll be aiming at a first draft of approximately 150,000 words knowing that there’s every likelihood of adding another 20 – 30,000 words at the fiirst content edit stage. Empire of Dust is 171,000 words and Crossways is 173,000.